I started to shoot outside and borrowed a better camera body - a Nikon d800. While the D700 gave decent results outside, the D800 was much more detailed. I knew I was on the right track.
So in short what I learned
- outside light - just one set of studio lights will not be enough.
good pixel resolution
50 mm lens (although I got good results on a zoom that went from 35mm to 80mm)
use a raw file in Photoshop before regular editing program.
* tip, I used the healing brush to clean up uneven edges in cropping, it seems not really possible to take a perfectly rectangular photo... :/
- I also found short of calibrating my monitor - I worked with the newest one in the house and then I looked at the final pictures on multiple screens.
However, I did find that the most recent shots, taken under cloudy skies in the afternoon had almost perfect color - I was shooting around f 5.6, 1/100 ISO 100
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